A Trump presidency may again be proving to be the troubling manifestation of a divided world, but thankfully Manchester’s musical offerings this week will once again be showing diversity in all its sonic splendour. In what may seem like dark times, we can look towards music in comfort as the days are slowly turning brighter and warmer. January has nearly reached an end, and with the first week of February comes a trio of folk rock acts over five days Manchester, beginning this Wednesday with The Head And The Heart.
// Soul sensations St. Paul & The Broken Bones kick off the week at the Ritz, and continue to receive rave reviews for their theatrical shows. Having originally formed as one last foray into music before focussing on other careers, thankfully things worked out a little better for the good-time funk outfit. Belfast duo exmagician will be casting their spells over an enthusiastic audience at the Castle, and former Mercury Prize nominee Alex Clare takes stage at Gorilla.
// High energy Brooklyn rocker Kevin Devine is backed up by The Goddamn Band on a new UK tour, while indie pop outfit Royal Canoe sail into the Castle Hotel. The King Blues continue to fuse punk, hip hop and spoken word at Academy 3 ahead of the release of their latest album, ‘The Gospel Truth’.
// Boisterous indie-folk outfit The Head And The Heart mark the arrival of February at Gorilla, and Brighton-based quartet Black Peaks appear at The Ruby Lounge on the back of their prog infused debut ‘Statues’. Elsewhere, RedRooms will be launching their new EP ‘Fragments’, with support from Leeds up-and-comers Nanna.
// The Albert Hall hosts Bright Eyes founder Conor Oberst for an intimate evening of solo indie folk this Thursday, and elsewhere, 16-piece ensemble The Abstract Orchestra will be paying tribute to iconic, late hip-hop producer J Dilla at Band On The Wall. Soup Kitchen will be hosting a late night of funk, courtesy of Mo Kolours and guests, while Red Faces will be on at Sound Control. Away from music, Gorilla will be screening a double bill of Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day, Gorilla will be screening a double bill of Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day.
// This Friday sees The Ruby Lounge launch new club night Underground, with free entry providing you’ve hit any other gigs that night. Haven’t got a gig ticket? Then just a couple of quid will have you sorted for a night of indie, Brit pop, new wave and 80s classics. Elsewhere on the clubbing calender, Band On The Wall host songwriter/producer Lem Springsteen and composer/producer John Ciafone (better known as production duo Mood II Swing) for their latest night High Hoops. If summers seems just too away before The Stone Roses take the stage again, you’ll find your fix at The Ruby Lounge with tribute act The Complete Stone Roses. Icelandic rockers Kaleo take Albert Hall, and folk star Matthew & The Atlas will be stopping off at Soup Kitchen just four dates into a new tour for a night of thoughtful, pining ditties.
// Singer-songwriter James McMurtry is back onstage in Europe for the first time in over seven years to perform music from his ‘Americana masterpiece‘ Complicated Game. Fresh off the top spot on Billboard Heatseekers Chart, Portland sisters Joseph will be enchanting audiences again, recently toured with James Bay. Mr Scruff returns once more to Band On The Wall for another evening of funk, and fans of Pixies can look forward to a Gigantic night at The Ruby Lounge.
// The ragged and rattling grooves of husband and wife duo Shovels & Rope mark the end of the week at The Ruby Lounge. Lioness Records graduate Liam Bailey brings his unique acoustic guitar-driven soul to Band On The Wall, and Pennsylvania pop-punk outfit The Wonder Years appear at The Ritz. For those for those who prefer just a little less of the punk and a little more of the pop, boy band Union J take the stage at Academy 3.
A full listing of this week’s events may be found here.